Sourness in lager? Saflager 34/70... acetaldehyde?

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BayernOasis

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Hi

I was about to cold crash my fermenter last night and took a sample of my first ever true pilsner lager. It tasted quite tart and sour... is this am infection or possibly acetaldehyde and what is the best way to get rid of it and save the lager?

I did a complete 90 minute boil on the German pilsner malt and created a 1.5L starter using saflager 34/70... about 2 weeks fermentation and increasing the temperature to 18C for the last few days. My sanitation with this was also diligent.

Someone else suggested lagering and fining with gelatin... as this sourness may even out over several weeks.

Any ideas on what this could be and whether this would work? I was even thinking about adding another yeast starter at bottling in order to clean up the lager?

Thank you :)
 

yowzers

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Tart and Sour does not sound like 34/70 at all. That is one of my two go to yeasts and it is very clean if you handle it as you did. Did you check final gravity? A lower than expected gravity would indicate an infection of some sort. If gravity is 1.01 to 1.012 and steady, I would bottle and age it.
 
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BayernOasis

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Thanks for the advice. I am going to bottle and age it to see how well it turns out further down the line.

I don't have a hydrometer at the moment as they have all broken, waiting on another one arriving.

I added quite a significant amount of yeast nutrient wt the beginning of fermentation could this possibly be to blame? I'm sure too much can lead to spoilage organisms however because it was a lager I wanted to give it the best head start possible.

I am brewing a bohemian pilsner tomorrow. Do you think I should leave out the nutrient with this? I also have a 2L starter ready to go.

Thanks again for your help :)
 

Dland

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I never use yeast nutrient with 34/70, or use a starter for that matter. Like package says, 'sprinkle into wort". Of course, using a starter is OK too, and you can use less yeast if that is your goal. One packet is good for about 5 gallons, in my experience.

As to previous beer, spoilage should not be a problem if you were good about sanitation. For finings, I recommend adding Whirlflock tablets or similar 'add to boil' product. It skips the contamination potential of adding gelatin down the road, and works better too, in my opinion. Your beer will clear out considerably with age, but adding gelatin will help clear it more.

The clarity and flavor will likely improve a lot if you give it 3-4 weeks at as low as your fridge goes w/o freezing (I run mine at 30F). What you are tasting could be the yeast in suspension, and/or the un aged hops. I usually taste my lagers when I rack them, just to see where they are going, and they never taste nearly as good as when they have "lagered" a while.
 

marc1

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Thanks for the advice. I am going to bottle and age it to see how well it turns out further down the line.

I don't have a hydrometer at the moment as they have all broken, waiting on another one arriving.

I added quite a significant amount of yeast nutrient wt the beginning of fermentation could this possibly be to blame? I'm sure too much can lead to spoilage organisms however because it was a lager I wanted to give it the best head start possible.

I am brewing a bohemian pilsner tomorrow. Do you think I should leave out the nutrient with this? I also have a 2L starter ready to go.

Thanks again for your help :)
What kind of nutrient did you use and how much did you add?
 

zacster

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I almost always make lager and never had anything come out tart and sour. I always make a 2L starter of Wyeast Bohemian or Bavarian Pilsner. I never use a nutrient either, the starter is the nutrient and I always use Whirlfloc at the end of the boil. Nothing touches the beer once it has cooled that hasn't been sanitized. All I would recommend is to give it some time but I wouldn't be optimistic.
 

Beermeister32

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It would be best to age your lager out in a keg. I run my Pilsners at 90 days, 180 days for big beers like Oktoberfests. Make sure to purge the keg with CO2 after filling, I use 15 cycles. Some will also purge the keg with Star San and CO2 prior to filling. That way, you will get this one off your mind and you can build your pipeline. Buy more kegs.. Brew more beer... Taste it after aging.... Good things come to those who wait!
PIPELINE.PNG
 

Dgallo

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If it is infected, bottle and Age is not the right call. If there is not a stable gravity, wild infections will consume the residuals and you will have bottle bombs.
 
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BayernOasis

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Thanks for the advice everyone!

It certainly did not look for small like an infection was present although I know this is not always the case.

If it is acetaldehyde and/let just a case of green beer I am hoping this will diminish with a few weeks of lagering. I have bottled the batch and they are currently sitting around room temperature... I will try them in a couple of weeks and let you know how they are!

I used youngs wine yeast nutrient (the only thing I can at the time and being weary that a lager requires a lot of help at the start in terms of oxygenation and a large starter (I usually brew Hefeweizen and this was my first true pilsner). I brewed a bohemian pilsner the other day with Saaz hops and left out the yeast nutrient with a larger starter (over 2L) in a different fermented so I expect that the results to be a lot more improved in that batch.

Another thing which I was concerned about was maybe the taste was due to this factor which just came to my attention:

I use different types of bar keeper's friend products to clean my kettle based upon advice on this and other brwing forums... recently I was having trouble removing tough burnt material at the bottom of the kettle and used a significant amount of this particular product (which ironically was not even that effective) Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Stain Remover 300g

however I just realised that this contains a perfume... and I don't know if I am being paranoid but I thought I could slightly smell this when I was cleaning the kettle after a brew last week. Since then I have thoroughly cleaned my kettle with boiling and water and consistent rinsing... I hope that any indication of this perfume has subsided and I nkw intend to purchase PBW and use that in future!

I hope my lager turns out great and I also intend to progress into kegging with a CO2 setup in the future. Going to stick to Hefeweizens for the time being to get my stock back up! Any thoughts welcome and thanks again everyone :)
 

Jako

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reading this booked named DARK LAGERS. In my opinion its hands down the best brewing book i have read to date. It mentions a compound called tyrosol. it can contribute to a sharp unpleasant bitterness the yeast will clean this up after some time in the lager phase.

just a thought.

on a side note 34/70 is a good yeast, wyermann uses it for almost all recipes in this book. But my go to yeast is harvest by Imperial. gives this nice malty flavor and a nice floral aroma.
 
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BayernOasis

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Good man Jako. Brilliant information.

I will give the book a read myself and look into tyrosol. I am hoping it is something like that... especially as the beer was still really young when I bottled it. Saflager took off in no time and I heard great things about it.
 

Jako

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Good man Jako. Brilliant information.

I will give the book a read myself and look into tyrosol. I am hoping it is something like that... especially as the beer was still really young when I bottled it. Saflager took off in no time and I heard great things about it.
last week i bottled a dunkel and wasn't too happy with it. My first thought was water chemistry as it was very bitter. the beer now is way better exactly how i planned a week later. just enough hop to keep it from being too sweet. just read that part on tyrosol last night and put the two together.

in your case it could be the different hop variety or yeast even specific malt compounds playing into the flavor.

in the past i have never had a beer get infected and it taste good or smell good haha. i don't think this is the case.
 
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